by Hannah Wallace Bowman
Small boobs, big boobs, blonde ones and leather thongs: it’s Saturday evening in Amsterdam’s red light district and the women in the windows are open for business. Potential clients meander through the canal-lined streets, perusing the veritable candy-shop of sexual delight on offer, the air thick with a heady combination of testosterone and beer.
If you are bloke who fancies tucking into threesome, or partaking in a light bondage-style bonk, you can pretty much get anything your heart desires within a kilometer radius of the city’s Dam Square. Indeed, as long as you are male and don’t mind paying for “it”, most demands are catered for, no matter what your sexual preference.
If you don’t have a penis, however, the options become somewhat more limited; there are women for men, men for men and women for women, but finding a straight male gigalo? Think again.
Discussing this issue with female friends seemed to yield conclusive results as to this might be the case: paying for sex it seems is simply not high on our agenda. Some said it was because they would find no pleasure in “doing it” with a complete stranger, for others, it was about there not being a necessity to pay. Indeed, as one girl mate not so subtly articulated it: “even if you are horny and single, it is still pretty easy to get a shag for free”.
So explain this: when, for one day only, a sex shop for women to come and have sex with men was opened in Amsterdam, it was a phenomenal success? So much so, that within the space of a just a few hours, the project was closed down by the police due to overcrowding on the street outside. In the short period it was open, the brothel received nine female clients.
After a short foray online, it became clear that this example of women willing to pay for sex perhaps cannot simply be dismissed as an anomaly.
From the popular escort agency “Cowboys4Angels” in the US, all the way to China, where the phenomenon of women hiring men termed as yazis or “ducks” for an evening of chatting and squelchy stuff, the demand for male prostitutes is burgeoning.
In general, however, there remains a reluctance to consider the possibility that some women want to enjoy hassle-free “good” sex with a stranger. Or if we do dare to consider that possibility, it can only be because that woman is incredibly ugly or very lonely.
Now, while I am not an advocate of anybody selling sex for money, I also recognize there to be a certain irony in our stigmatization of this issue.
Every day we are bombarded by images of scantily clad icons of the entertainment industry, apparently so overwhelmed by their own sexuality that being induced to orgasm by contact with inanimate objects is all part of a days work (yes Miley, yes Rihanna, I’m looking at you). Although these so-called artists set a highly dangerous precedent, considering the effect they have in conditioning the way their young audiences perceive sexuality to look like, they are idolized by popular culture.
Meanwhile, to acknowledge female desire as genuine and existing outside of a two-dimensional simulation designed to sell records, is when sex suddenly becomes too much for our fragile sensibilities to handle.